Suppression of VIPs in Punjab: From Badal, Warring to Bajwa, Security Coverage of 122 Former Ministers, MLAs Withdrawn

The March 11 order stated that the security given to leaders on specific orders of the courts will not be revoked.

Days before the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party government ceremony was sworn in, the Punjab government had withdrawn security coverage from 122 former ministers and MLAs. In what seems surprising, Congress leader Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, who was the former transport minister, carried with him an astonishing 21 commandos for his safety, the highest ranking of the leaders on the list. Former minister Manpreet Singh Badal, who lost to the Bathinda Urban chair, was protected by 19 security personnel, while another former minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu was guarded by 16 personnel.

One may recall that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won a record 92 seats in the recently held parliamentary elections in Punjab and that Bhagwant Mann and his cabinet swearing-in ceremony will take place on March 16.

The order issued by the Additional Director-General of Police (Security), dated March 11, to Police Commissioners, Senior Police Inspectors and other senior police officers, stated that the security given to leaders on specific orders of the courts will not be withdrawn.

Among the leaders in danger of losing their security cover include former ministers Badal, Raj Kumar Verka, Ashu, Brahm Mohindra, Sangat Singh Gilzian, former speaker KP Singh, congress leaders who have won these elections – Pargat Singh, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring , Rana Gurjeet Singh, Tript Rajender Singh Bajwa, Sukhbinder Sarkaria and Barindermeet Singh Pahra. Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of Punjab Congress head Navjot Singh Sidhu, will also lose her security cover.

Prominent among the leaders of the BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal who will lose their security cover are Daljit Singh Cheema, Tota Singh, Sikandar Singh Maluka, Chunni Lal Bhaga, Manoranjan Kalia, Anil Joshi, Dinesh Babbu Adesh Partap Singh Kairon and former MLAs Sharanjit Dhillon and Pawan Kumar Tinu. The list also includes the names of former AAP MLAs Jagtar Singh Jagga, Kanwar Sandhu, Amarjit Singh Sandoa and HS Phoolka.

The Lok Insaaf Party brothers Bains – Simarjeet Bains and Balwinder Bains – will also lose their safety cover. The list also includes the name of the former head of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and ex-MLA Gobind Singh Longowal.

Other names in the list include Dina Nagar MLA Aruna Chaudhary, Gurdaspur MLA Barindermeet Singh Pahra, former MLA Sukhpal Singh Bhullar, Randeep Singh Nabha, Ajaib Singh Bhatti, Rana KP Singh and Razia Sultana.

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